Marple let Macc
IN a game where both sides spilled chances, Marple ended up with the lion’s share of the spoils, but were not entirely happy at the end of the contest.
Visiting captain Rob Porter inserted Marple at a gloomy Bowden Lane last Saturday after winning the toss.
With Marple’s line up being the most consistent in the league this season, such a move must be weighed up with the consideration that being batted out of the game is a likely possibility.
Porter’s dual left arm seam attack of Craig Melrose and Chris Moores did not let him down though. After Crisall and Makin had added 24 not entirely comfortable runs, a mini collapse followed.
Melrose picked up the top three in the order, with Crisall (6) and an out of touch Andrew Hall (1) both well caught by Ben Marsden and Jim Melrose respectively.
Makin (21) had looked the most secure of the top order, but was also caught by Ben Marsden driving too soon at a fullish delivery.
At 32 for 3 Marple were once more in a crisis.
However, Paul Wood has the game and attitude to adapt to any situation this season. He dropped anchor.
His presence enabled Mark Bennett to play with freedom once he had himself settled at the crease.
Bennett, like his skipper, is in a rich vein of form in 2017.
Rather surprisingly Porter opted to bowl his opening bowlers through for their full allotment of fifteen overs each. Well as they bowled, both Marple batsmen were able to establish themselves without having to worry about any variety, and were also content to alternate the strike, the bowlers being the ones having to adjust to the left and right hand batting combination.
Mark Bennett made the absolute most of his opportunity to bat for a good period of time as the sun came out to light up the afternoon.
With the immovable Wood he added 122 runs for the fourth wicket, this being Marple’s fourth century stand in the past three games.
Both players combined superb timing with some power hitting, especially when Porter was forced into changing his attack. Porter himself suffered some punishment, but did deceive Wood, (52) in the air to have him very well caught by Tudor at long on at 154 for 4.
Bennett continued on his merry way for a while, and he was given excellent support from Max Fitzgerald in a brisk stand of 32, before he fell to third change bowler Key for a terrific 81.
Fitzgerald made a promising 16, with Andy Wild (18) three glorious boundaries, and Ed Saxelby (10 not out) making useful contributions in Marple’s final tally of 223 for 7.
For Macclesfield, Craig Melrose had 3 for 48, but the change bowlers suffered some heavy treatment.
Porter’s day did not get any better with the bat as he miscued a full toss from Ed Saxelby to Makin at point with only five on the board.
Ben Marsden, in company with Tom Tudor, repaired the early loss of the skipper though, the left handed Marsden being the dominant player with a fluent 36 in a good second wicket stand of 47.
It took a beauty from the old maestro, Andy Greasley to remove him, as Makin pouched another catch at gully from a perfectly pitched off spinner. Ollie Marsden and McCance did not last long, and at 83 for 4 Marple were well in the driving seat.
Hodgson though provided a solid if unspectacular partner to Tudor, who looked secure, but was not really able to dominate proceedings, and the visitors fell well being the asking rate.
Part time left arm spinner Mark Makin bowled a useful six over spell, and eventually had Hodgson stumped by keeper Wild for 22.
However, the Macclesfield number six had been dropped three times, and Marple were to rue these misses as the overs began to run out.
Tudor made a late attempt to chase the distant total, but Greasley deceived him in the air and the Melbourne man was lbw.
His 66 had been a good knock, but it occupied him almost two and a half hours.
Morahan was reintro- duced to try and remove the lower order, but the doughty Griffiths (22 not out) was dropped at slip, and after this Marple seemed to sense that they would be thwarted once more by a stubborn tail end.
Macclesfield hung on at 186 for 7 as the gloom and drizzle returned. Greasley had 3 for 42, and Makin 2 for 21.
Tom Tudor put together a knock of 66 against Marple